Rose

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Just to let my readers know, there’s a huge imbalance of blog articles about artist alley without me actually showing my own artwork. So expect more recent projects or photography here. But don’t expect them to update every week :P

I didn’t get in the Capcom Tribute, but I submitted a piece I really like and wanted to talk about it a little. The Udon crew had an insane amount of competition, so I’m not surprised I didn’t get in (heck, a lot of people who got in that book were veterans or creators of the series). So without further ado, it’s Rose, from Street Fighter!
ROSE_mockup I’m actually really bad at the game, and there’s not a lot of fan art of her, so I was happy just making the piece for myself anyways. She is one of the few characters in the game that I can sort of get a handle on (i can’t do a Z movement on the game stick, and I don’t really know how to handle charge characters, so her limited moves help me out on that). The original illustration is actually markers, but the background, textures, and glowing are done in Photoshop. The piece took about two days to complete, and I currently have them available as a mini print in my store :D

I’m a very late bloomer, but one of the earliest arcade fighting games I’ve ever played was Street Fighter 4. When I first played, I used a game stick, and so when I begged my brother to buy the game for me, I couldn’t figure out how to use the controller, and begged him to buy a game stick for me as well. Best big bro ever!
I really fell in love with the art, and the comics that come with it are AMAZING. I want to give props to the writers of the comic series, the flow is superb.  A lot of my current work was inspired by the game. When the characters pull out their special moves, and the scene changes, it’s so dramatic, and the comic is like watching the game unfold with different characters! I love the sumi-e ink washes that happen when the characters use a focus attack. Anyways, I’m just in my own little world with this franchise.
One of my dream comic jobs is to work for Udon to make a short Street Fighter. That’s such a long shot, but I’ll keep practicing, and hey, who knows! This is my first attempt, I’m sure one day I’ll make more fan comics. 

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Angry Artist Alley: My Art is worth TOO MUCH!

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This is a topic I don’t have any proof except for walking around and buying peoples’ art every year, and mass amounts of artists agreeing on it and telling me their stories. I don’t really talk about it straight to an artist unless I feel REALLY confident about it. I know it pisses some people off, but I just want to speak my mind. Well, since I’ve already made this series and few have denied the problem, I want to warn you that this article may offend innocent pure-hearted people who do art solely because they love it. Mines was once very pure. After trying to live as a freelance illustrator, my eyes on these subjects have definitely changed. Still happy and proud about it, but have seen the dark side of business as well.

Brace yourselves, this is a LONG article. 

It’s quite obvious with the economy these days, things are getting more expensive, and people are trying to earn more money to catch up with that. Heck, even artist alley table costs have risen.  But you know, people are used to paying a specific price for this stuff. But why should you work MORE to get paid LESS? America sucks that way. Just consider minimum wage here. Doesn’t mean you need to completely bow your head down even further than the rest of the people.

Even though my work improves every year, I earn less as well. I manage better artwork, way better quality stuff from many years before. But why earn less every year for the past four years? Hard to believe, but prices for work have dropped significantly year after year. Materials cost more, but we still sell the same. Consumers may just be consumers, but I still have dignity for my own artwork. There are more people at cons every year, how come you’re not earning as much?

It could be that people want to spend less money, or think your work is overpriced. Or maybe you think your work isn’t worth that amount of money, and that you should charge less because of it.

Here’s some factors regarding this issue:

1. When faced with two pieces of art, the consumer usually go towards the one that costs less–face it, the cheaper it is, the more you want to point your eyes to it even if the art isn’t as cool. As long as it has that chibi fanart, yes? Most consumers (especially at anime conventions) mostly buy things as cheap gifts or because they like the character, not really because of the skill and effort you stick into it.  No guarantee the one you spent so long making would sell at all. When they see the cheaper price, then they go for it. That is usually why artists at conventions can get away with more cash selling things for cheaper (although have to work harder and longer for it). The factor is price.

2. The one that has significantly “cooler” art- “Cooler” does NOT mean that the artwork looks better or had some skill and effort put into it. What I mean by that is that the consumer usually looks it in another way and considers it cool. They don’t see that I spent and entire week hand inking and coloring a 14×17 piece of marker, all they see is the character on the page. Say…if you had a print of Kirito that the artist spent 10 minutes on, and a print of kirito you spent one week on, they don’t see the time you spent on it. They’re not paying attention to the effort, they are looking for the result. The factor could be fanservice.

3. The content is popular. When you’ve got work involving a character you know and like, you’d point more towards this. When the art is some sort of parody or joke, people think that’s interesting. For this specific reason, this is why original art doesn’t sell as well as fanart. I’m not saying you won’t make sales, I’m saying that you could make more selling fanart. Sad, but true. The factor is popularity.

Flashback to the Past:

About 8 years ago, commissions and prints were more expensive than nowadays…which I believe this system is really messed up–even in this economy, a large part of our income comes from these things (especially comic artists). At anime conventions, most 8.5 x 11 prints were about $10 and up (I know some of you are shocked right now). And it would be normal to get an 11×17 for $20. Buttons were your usual $1, and so on. Walking around conventions in the past year, I can see prices have DROPPED. 8.5 x 11 prints are selling around the average of $3-5, and I’ve seen 11×17 prints sell at $6-10. I’ve seen buttons cost 50 cents. And etc. I’m not saying every convention is like this, but it does happen more often than it used to.

What happened? How did it happen?

I am not pointing names, because I know for a fact that I’ve met a TON of people who have experienced or did it before (hell I did it a few times)–a never ending struggle of trying to keep up with pricing compared to other extreme tables. When one table decides to sell something significantly less, the competition balance changes. The rest of the tables need to catch up with that one table by LOWERING all their prices. But what if another table decides to sell the same thing even cheaper after everyone else lowers it? The fact that a lot of artists draw the same fanart from the same series makes it even thougher. I’m not talking about if their art was a masterpiece or not, I’m just saying that the struggle hits all of us, no matter where you are on the food chain.

Awareness:

I graduated in the California College of the Arts in Illustration. I learned the financial difficulties as an illustrator, and through the life of real comic artists that have to maintain their own business as well. Freelancing is a very difficult thing, and some of us whip out our own calculator and calculate cost, time, supplies, etc for every thing we do. Stephen Silver says it like a boss, but I hope this makes sense when I say it. Check out all of his videos about living as a real artist.

1. Time is money: Just because you spent six hours on it doesn’t mean you spent six hours working on it. It means you spent six hours drawing it/making it, and what may have been a lifetime of training to do it, PLUS the time it took for you to get the materials as well. Remember, the consumer does NOT know how much time and effort it took for you to do your work (unless they ask). Therefore, you do not have to undersell because you spent less time on something. The people who DO pay attention to that are usually artists, and they respect you. But consumers are not all artists.

2. Your stuff doesn’t cost the amount of money you spent buying the supplies. It costs more. WAY more. You spent time, blood, and money to work on a piece, it doesn’t mean you should just bow down to your sellers and give them the bare minimum of cash needed to pay for your table and supplies. If that was the case, you could manage your time better by NOT buying a table, and spread 300dpi printable versions of your artwork for free everywhere. In fact, if all you wanted to do was pay back for your table, wouldn’t the wiser thing be to just not buy the table in the first place?

3. Selling something cheaper vs. selling something more expensive: The concept is that you can sell 10 buttons for $10, or 1 print for $10. Or you could sell 2 prints for $5. Each one of these products you spent time at home making separate versions of it. What are the odds of all of them? You can sell things for cheaper and they sell, but you’d need to sell more to make up for something that someone might buy for more. Think about this concept. You can take advantage of this by spending less time and effort on something and selling it more (although I do lose respect for some people who do this). It can also be your downfall.

4. We’re All In This Together: Selling for profit may be a battlefield in artist alley, but one thing you may not know is that we’re all supporting each other too. When you break the balance of selling something super duper cheap, how the hell do you think the rest of our tables are going to support ourselves? So please, by having everyone keep a somewhat consistent price on their work, we’re able to maintain a balance of profit for everyone.

 *note: if you don’t know where I got that term from, it was from a hilarious comic by e1n: http://waittcomics.com/

Fact of the matter is: This took me a bit of understanding. If you walked into a gallery (or even art museum), you will find that prints that are about 8.5″x11″/11″x17″ is at a regular price of about $25-$75 each, sometimes with a backing board and mat. Heck, I once sold two prints at a gallery, for $60 each. Even if the gallery sometimes takes a 40% cut from it, that is still completely normal–cut or no cut in a gallery. Is it a rip off? No, people just find more worth in your art there compared to other places. But at a convention, it’s absurd to have it over $15.

5. I’m just a beginner: For those who have this mentality, you may be thinking a bit too low of yourself. You already had the courage and money to get a table, why are you doubting yourself? Do you think the consumers would really know that if they look at your art? Do they know if you went to art school or that you have been practicing only a year ago? Stand up for yourself. You’re this far ahead, you bought a table, you’re a novice, but you can’t look at yourself as being lower than everyone else who has had a table. You are a confident artist who just started sitting behind artist alley. You are no a kid who is trying to tell the whole world that you THINK you suck. This entire blog is so your mind isn’t set on this problem. Don’t charge significantly less because of this idea. Be proud, stand up straight, and know that every artist in artist alley started out just like you, and look at them now–everyone is a role model for you. 

Personal Opinion Blurb: I never buy a commission that’s under $20. On a personal level, I feel anyone charging under that is doubting their skills. It takes a lot of courage to finally feel that your work isn’t worth a Subway sandwich, but instead a nice dinner at a sushi restaurant. I’m not a big supporter of $1 commissions, it just doesn’t feel ‘worth it’ for me.

6. It’s just an experiment to see if people buy it: So you made something brand new, and want to see if people buy it, so you charge less for it. Kiddo, nice thinking, but nope. If you do that, then people will think that it will normally cost that price. What I mean is that people might just be buying your ‘experiment’ just because it’s cheaper, not because they’ve fallen in love with it.  Of course I’ll buy a cute little origami pin for 10 cents! But not if it’s 25 cents, because I thought it was normally 10 cents last convention. If you really want to test out this experiment, price it normally. And if no one buys it, figure out why, and either fix it or lower it a little then. But not your first try.

Pacific Rim

This is a Pacific Rim fanart print. The original was a marker and ink piece with just a hint of white ink. It is 14×17 inch total (you heard me right). I spent approximately three days straight(from 7:30am to 11pm with food break), had to cool my hand down from arm stress, and another day. I made prints of it. How much do you think that print would be worth, personally? How much do you think the original costs? And lastly, how much do you think it was sold at for a convention? 

[EDIT (added May 16)]7. But they buy my stuff anyways: If this is what you’re thinking, you’re missing the entire point of this article. So you’re making a profit selling it? Congrats, but how much more did you need to print and how much more time did you need to work to get that far? Metaphorically speaking, it is faster to scrub the floor clean with a towel than it is with a toothbrush.
If you feel it’s unfair to print your drawings and charge ten dollars if the printing cost $1.50, consider that the burger you ordered at the joint cost about the same to make, but they charge you ten dollars too. Craftsmanship, time, service, and many other things are put into the materials as well.

[EDIT (added May 16)]–8. I just want to be showered with compliments, I love it!Don’t we all? But let me tell you a secret: THEY WILL COMPLIMENT YOUR ARTWORK REGARDLESS OF THE PRICE TAG. Whether or not someone would actually buy that kickass piece of art, that’s not up to me, you, or anyone else but that person. In my honest opinion, I feel happier when a customer says ‘oh wow, I love your work!’ instead of ‘oh wow, it’s so cheap!’, even if the person walks away from my table after saying one or the other.

What should we do?
Just price your work wisely. One thing I’d like to add is to stop lowering your prices lower and lower..and lower. It’s getting way out of hand at the past few times I’ve walked by these things. When one person sees work that’s significantly cheaper than the rest of ours, it sometimes makes us look like we’re the ‘bad guys’. None of us are the bad guys here, but it does drag us ALL down a lot. Like I said, if you spent money on a table to sell your work, and selling your stuff at almost the bare minimum, it’s like you don’t even know what the purpose of ‘buying an artist alley table to sell your artwork’ means whatsoever. Why should we have to work till 3am on a project knowing that selling it would only give you the chance of earning ten bucks? Trust me, if you want exposure, give it out for free to people walking buy, they’ll love it. If you need money to pay for something you really dream to have, please help everyone out at artist alley. Many of us sitting behind artist alley have goals we want to achieve which is why we sit behind the tables selling our art. Let’s work together!

Well, how much should I price them?
Unfortunately, this is an age old question that even I cannot comprehend. All I can say is to look around the tables, see how much they price them, and that should be your estimate. And never make your price lower than the lowest price of anyone’s work at the convention. That will just build to the already existing fire for the future. Keep it uniform, and it will help everyone. You can make it the same as the lowest price if you want, or you can choose the most popular/average price range, but never under the cheapest price at conventions.

[EDIT (added June 17)]
People are complaining my work is TOO expensive!
I’m going to assume a few things. I am assuming the person thinks their art is ‘better’ than your work, and envy the fact that you’re making money off of what they think is more inferior. And I’m assuming the person who has the ‘expensive’ art is making some amount of profit on it. And they want you to lower your price because of that. Or maybe you’re the one thinking that to someone else. Here’s the much more positive way of thinking–instead of telling someone to LOWER their prices because their work isn’t as good as yours (or so they claim) and they make money, and you could do better, why not RAISE your own prices and see what happens?  Problem solved, everyone is happy. Yea?

This is an excerpt I wrote when I responded to a facebook post about artist alley, about overpricing vs. underpricing:

“Let me give you an example/explanation about peoples’ expectations regarding underpricing and overpricing, based on real life experiences:

Say you have a commission, and you charge it $20 and profit from it. Then people are complaining it’s ‘too high’ for that quality of work, implying their work is superior. If they’re complaining about me making that much money off of drawn commissions, why don’t they just higher their commission prices if they think their work ‘is better’ and make a more reasonable price for their time?

But imagine me underpricing my work. People would complain that I don’t value my work, I have to work longer and harder to get a profit, and I’m pretty much doing more harm for myself than good. People may have to make the choice of lowering their prices just so they can match this one person’s ridiculously cheap prices. AND the customers who have seen this one person who underpriced their work would also consider everyone else’s prices a ‘ripoff’, and have lower standards.”

If you would like to flame me about this, don’t. This whole article represents my own opinion, and I do not plan to change sides. And nor will you, if you want to argue with me about this. It won’t solve anything. If you want to speak your opinion, do it at a facebook group, where you’ll get multiple opinions from multiple people. However, if you want something clarified, I bet I have some sort of life story/experience that goes along with any of these topics I listed. 

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Angry Artist Alley: Why do people use markers?

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As some artists, we sit behind artist alley to get pocket cash, exposure, you know the stuff. From budgets, to transportation/living, horrible customers, and well…if you never sat behind artist alley, you have no idea. And if you have…ever feel frustrated?

You’ve got stories? Concerns? Questions? Ask away!

I know there have been people who have sat behind cons before me, but I’ve started around 2004, and I walked in with absolutely no guidance (aka. i screwed up a LOT). So I learned through my mistakes, acquired more than just a handful of stories, and I’ve seen my peers and table mates go through it all too. I don’t mean a convention a year, I mean an average about six a year.

 

You will see it everywhere at artist alley-those copic or prismacolor markers…yea you know what i mean.
But why? They’re not too pleasing to smell, and they’re expensive!

I will point out, people use watercolors. But you know…the dreaded SPILL of hell (trust me, I’ve seen it more than a few times). I’ll also note that some of these reasons are better not to be told to a noobie who decides to sit behind the table for the first time. A mistake investment in markers can be very sad. Nor should you force someone to buy it just for the following reasons. If you decide to explain it to them, make sure to give them the cons of having markers as well.  A better explanation of any material in general is better than immediately buying and trying it out. Please try any art tool out yourself at a store or ask questions at a demo first.

 

Here are some reasons:

1)Everyone else is doing it-Well, got to fit in, right?

2)I look so boss with it-If the pros got it, having them will make you seem a bit more professional too. You don’t have to know how to use them properly or draw very well with it, when people see you using it, they think you’re pro.

3)Quick to use, quick to dry-draw a line-DONE. By the time you just read that sentence it’s dried.

4)Refillable-Lots of people toss the markers when they’re dry, which is really…well…did you know they have refills? The marker refills are slightly more expensive than the marker (by a dollar or two), and each refill is about 5-10 refills worth of one marker. Ink is also mixable, so I actually mix my own colors in the markers….which also means they’re not the real colors I purchased unless it was the color of my refills….but that also means I have marker colors I’d actually want to use.

Here are cons about using them:

1)Depending on the number you have, they can get bulky-more than seventy-two markers is tricky to pack up.

2)Cost-Imagine them being about five dollars each. Imagine someone stole that 72 pack you had lying around.

3)The smell-alcohol based markers will have colors that will not fade for decades, but it also has the slight smell of rubbing alcohol. After a few years you get used to it though.

4)Mistaking your table mates’ markers for yours, or people stealing them-yea, there was this jackass once…….

5)Caps don’t snap-when using these, make sure you know where you put the cap of the marker. Other than the CIAO copics (and a select other few), the caps don’t snap to the other side of the marker, which means you have to lay it somewhere next to the table or something. When you lose it, you’re dead. And so will your marker. Until you find it, after a heart attack.

6)Mis-capping: Markers come in a LOT of colors. Color intensity/hue/etc can be SO SLIGHT in markers, you better know which cap/color code goes on top of which marker. If you accidentally miscap two markers with very similar colors, that’s well…I hate when that happens.

7)bleeds right through paper: Make sure to color over a piece of blank paper, or the paper will bleed right through whatever art underneath.

How many markers do I need My starter set was 24 sketch, which was a great number for MANY years. I would recommend buying a SET instead of individual just to save money, but don’t go overboard. Eventually, there were specific colors I only wanted, so I bought a separate copic marker wallet to stash the other markers. My collection is a little over seventy, accumulated for eight years. You can always use a limited color palate too, and that makes for a very unique commission ^_^
Don’t buy the 72 pack on your first attempt without ever trying the markers out.

But do I REALLY need to use markers?
Hey, I’ve seen some awesome watercolor artists out there, ain’t no shame in that. Some people work exclusively digitally and only do pen and ink sketches. It’s just a mental kind of thing to have, like if all the cool kids have it, then suddenly having it would give you the sense of being that cool too.

My pro tip? Do what you love. If you like colorpencils, bring that instead. Crayons? Pastels? Whatever makes you happy. Markers are expensive, and if you don’t want to ever touch them, then don’t.

 

 

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And you thought Copics could only do one thing?

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Ah, I was once given the question ‘why don’t you use watercolors instead?’
Well, I mean they’re cheaper and can do a lot too, but I guess the only answer I have for that is ‘because it’s different’

I am very angry and disappointed about kids who invest in these fancy Copics without even understanding how much it can do! I mean, I guess I used to be one, but my first set was given by my friends in highschool as a gift (they chipped in to get me a set! d’aaw). I’m gonna say a ton of tutorials online only show you how to do it one way, and well….there’s more than just a few ways to utilize a marker.

First off, recently I decided to invest in a copic aircan set. I got it because I saw some frames from the comic Dorohedoro that looked like it was airbrushed…then had the urge to copy that. For anyone interested, I highly do not recommend you buying it unless you’re REALLY serious about using it, not a noob, or dedicated to learning it. I especially want to emphasize the last one–some people buy copic markers because everyone else is using them, and find out they don’t really use it except to color spots on pictures or draw lines. Get it if you know what you’re doing.

And here is a tutorial about a piece I worked on, colored entirely with Copic Markers:

1. The first thing to any picture is to think of a topic and draw out the idea. For me, I was thinking of Ghost In the Shell, killing robots, cyborgs and just happened to be reading Battle Angel Alita as well. Anyhow, I started with the blue line pencil, because as any of you know, I keep losing my pencils and the color blue just happens to pop out of my pile of pens more than a pencil.

2. I used a dip pen to ink it. Yes, entire thing. Took an entire night and morning, but it was cool.

3. When I scanned it in, I realized the composition was POOR. But I kept going, because I knew I can just crop it to whatever size.

4. I colored in the girl, and started airbrushing (Copic Air Can, adaptor+ 180). I forgot to take a photo of me coloring the girl, sorry sorry ^_^’

MAKE SURE TO WORK WITH AN OPEN WINDOW AND A MASK IF YOU HAVE ONE!

5. As you can see, when you’re done airbrushing, it looks awful. BUT, don’t fret!

6. I smoothed out all black/blue areas with grey and more black markers, and the shadows tightened with the markers. I did not airbrush for this. I also didn’t show the part after this, but I had to go to the art store to get another can.

7. NOW you’re wondering ‘no way what the hell are you thinking? Well, I watched simple airbrush tutorials, and I remembered a demo that Edel Rodriguez did in my Illustration 5 class where he masked areas with Frisket and just rolled solid colors over it. Well, here I gave some color and depth, and then..

8. Ta-da! peel the frisket paper!

It ended up looking like this:

sweet, clean, and sexy.

Now, the final run.

9. Again, I put frisket paper on the thing again and airbrushed a peachy background (there was enough grey in it, I had to brighten it up a bit). Then I colored in the basic flag, but it was too clean for my taste.

10. I airbrushed some random colors, but it STILL looked too smooth. So I used my colorless blender, and made spots by just dipping the marker onto the flag for a few seconds. Usually that’s an awful thing to do with your images, but for this particular picture, I wanted that flag to look a little less joyful and a little more nasty. Also, it was blending in with the hair too much.

11. Well, done with the picture, and scanned it in. However, I mentioned the image’s composition is very poor. Plus, I needed to make this postcard size so I can print it at a convention. SO, the final picture ended up like this:

I was going to add some white highlights to it, but I kinda felt the dirty colors gave it a deep mood. I was thinking of adding texture to the saws, but I felt it would blend in too much with the foreground, so I didn’t touch it.

….and there you go. There’s more than one way to use a Copic Marker. Now if only the company could sponsor me…..

Some progress of marker work a year later:

 

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Love is in the…Bar?

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Well, it’s *that* time of the year. You know, the most lovely and most depressing time of the year. Well, anyhow, why not bring your loved one or pick up some chicks/dudes up at Raven’s Bar in San Francisco? 

1151 Folsom Street, only a few blocks from Civic Center BART.

Today , Sara and I collaborated on remaking the sign at the to fit the month :]

 

(taken around 5:45 pm..i’ll try and update a better picture later)

SO WHAT’S GONNA HAPPEN?

Well, If you can locate the bar, and get a drink on happy hour (while the sign is up), Take a photo of yourself and both of these signs (one on each side)–send them to me, and I’ll mail you a little gift! This is to promote the bar, as well as share the real drawings. This freebie is not hosted by the bar, but by me :]

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HERE’S A SIGN (literally)

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So anyways, you might have heard me talking about a bar in San Francisco called ‘Raven Bar’. It’s only a few blocks from the Civic Center BART station. The bottom two was a set I drew with a Christmas theme. To my surprise, it’s still standing outside!

 

here’s the current website: http://www.ravenbarsf.com/

1151 Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

So, the thing is, before these things go to waste,

 

If ANY of you go to the bar and get a photo of yourself next to these signs and send me a photo and post it up, I’ll mail you a special gift!

*one little freebie for each pic of you and each sign. If the sign is gone, then this offer ends, so better get a drink there :] If it’s a group photo, I will send everything to only ONE address, but everyone gets something.

 

I can’t drink alcohol for several reasons, so if you’re like me, and interested in something non-alcoholic, I recommend their strawberry limeade :3

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What is livestream?

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I’ve gotten a webcam for a while, and I often post on my facebook page ‘LIVESTREAM IS ON!’
I have been aware that some of you don’t even know what that is, so I will inform you :]

 

I will either hook my webcam online so that  you can watch a video of me drawing my work (or drawing requests)  LIVE TIME. As in, yes i will be talking to you if you type, or have a question, and you can see me make mistakes and fix them and draw and whatever, you can even give suggesstions. It is often accompanied by music as well. Anyhow, please watch my facebook page for those quick updates:

[CLICK HERE FOR FACEBOOK PAGE]

I also update at the same time on the following pages too :]

my deviantart: http://pineapple-pocky.deviantart.com/

my tumblr: http://jackieloart.tumblr.com/

my twitter: http://twitter.com/jackieloart

Basically, on nights where I’m not working on private work that can be shown in progress, I turn on Livestream. I get lonely, and the webcam is watching. You can talk to me while I work, request music, etc. Some days I’ll even just ask ‘so what do you guys want me to draw?’ I recently made a sample here:

 Just a one-nighter using markers and pens to draw Silica from Sword Art Online. I am going back into the comic convention business, so I need to build up a re-vamped portfolio of these things. Maybe after a couple more I’ll be set for here. I’m really iffy about drawing comic fanart, since Marvel and DC have gone wild about these things, and I don’t wanna get involved in a lawsuit (so next best thing? Darkstalkers fanart)

 

As any person has gone to my tables at anime cons, I’m open for commissions, I always have been, and I always will, you just have to ask me (and well, pay me too).

AND JUST TO PROVE I DID THIS, HERE IS A LITTLE RECORDING OF THE LIVESTREAM (no music attached)

 

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Women of the Deep Sea (preview)

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There was some contest by a friend, his alias is “WenM”. I doubt I’ll ever win his contest, but I might as well enter this thing. Design of a monster.

 

Digital, Markers, and white gouache

I went to another art museum show called the “Royal Treasures from the Louvre: Louis XIV to Marie-Antoinette” and was inspired to create chimera like creatures. The design is based on a gulper eel (Saccopharyngiformes). I wish there was more material to study about these deep sea creatures, but unfortunately there isn’t much that has been discovered about this stuff.

AND, this is a preview of a small artbook I’m planning. At the moment I am dubbing it as “Women of the Deep Sea”. It will consist of species from the deep ocean floors, homogenized with a human woman (like a mermaid, but not). This is just a sample preview pic, I’m sure I could do a better picture depicting this freaky ass fish. Just wanted to show off a little progress.

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Fan Art is Fine Art! (part 2)

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A: “Whoa, you have so many markers! Aren’t they expensive to keep buying?”

B: “Yes. and that is why I only have about eight refills.”

A: “WHAT?! You can refill markers!?”

B: “Yes, but I only have six colors and black and colorless blender”

A: “so….you only refill eight markers???”

B: “I mix the rest of the colors. You know…like you mix to get green, or mix to get orange…..common sense.”

A: ……….omg I’ve wasted so much money buying them over, and over…..T^T

B: Well, you should have looked it up online. In fact, it’s 0n the website from the company who makes them -_-‘

 

Ever wonder why markers are so popular for comics? Me too. Well, I don’t have a pure explanation other than the incredible speed it dries in and the speed you have to train yourself to work in. Actually, when I ink enough, I would take a bathroom break for the color to completely soak in the paper and blend the colors together completely. Wouldn’t make a difference anyways, besides, bathroom breaks are quite enjoyable.

Gold Saw from “Black Rock Shooter” series. A well known anime, but not a popular character. I only like that series for the character designs and nothing else.

I never really learned much from looking at those ‘this is how I color with marker’ tutorials at all, so I had to teach myself. In this thing, you can see how much I screwed up in order to get the right color. Ended up okay in the end. Well, I hope i took enough photos to make a little more sense. More explanations at the bottom of this thing.

 

–THIS IS PART TWO—PART THREE COMING SOON!–

INK to MARKER

 Photos were taken by camera in  middle of the day, and I was too lazy to edit most of the photos. Also, as the markers are all hand-mixed and refilled, I doubt telling you the number in the marker will help you find the right color.

1) I have a very basic and light marking about where the darkest areas will be. In a bit, the color will lighten up and you won’t see it anymore.

2) You add in a basic color, and then you add a darker color over it. Pretty explanatory. Notice my lack of skills with all those streaks of markers left and right. No worries…yet.

3) Blue, violet, and cream skin were for the shadowy areas of the flesh. Later it will be absorbed into the paper and become a lighter tone, as well as being a base for the actual skin color. I added blue to tell myself where her hair was at.

4) Changed my mind and added grey. What a waste of blue marker. Then added a darker shade for the strands of hair. Notice I added a darker peachy color to the skin, and it’s slowly blending together with the blue skin colors underneath.  Also, it was time I made the ‘red’ of her armor stick out a little more, so I used an orange-red to saturate the armor as well as blend the shadows a little more. Notice how all the red streaks are gone?

5) Decided to change my mind AGAIN. Added black. Found my pen and whooshed some black strands too. I was questioning how the jacket (which also was originally black) would stand out as much as the hair. I added a dark blue.

6) Added black and grey to blend with the blue.

8) self explanatory. HAHA IT SAYS NUMBER 8 and i’m way too tired to change it.

 

NEXT UP: Marker-to-paper-to-paint-to-marker-to mask! :D

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I just refilled my markers. It took about eight hours, over fifty markers, and only 14 different bottles (where four of them are just grey/blacks). Urg, it was soo long. But I took a color class at the California College of Arts, and it was super helpful. If it wasn’t for that class, I think it would take more than those eight hours.

Anyhow, very excited. Before I do anything final though, I need to find out compatibility of the inks, pens, and markers. To be honest, I’ve been slacking off with drawing for a week, and that’s enough to dull the skills. I whipped out a book of fashion from the 1800s, and just drew random stuff based on it. I was just screwing around, and wasn’t really thinking at all.

Okay, I just want to say they didn’t wear stuff like that exactly. But I just did whatever. When you doodle, they don’t have to look like barbie dolls (although I often do that).  I often look at colors like tones, and you can see if you desaturate them, the tones change back. I was also using a Pentel Parallel with a converter that I managed to shove into this thing, inserted with J. Herbin light moss greenish ink. And white gel pen.

So far, so good. Very minimal pen ink melting with alcohol markers. Next up is the dip pen ink, and MEPXY alcohol markers. And liquid acrylic (omg haven’t used in ages).  Then I’m going to start some final drawings of stuff. Need to work on backgrounds.

I’m still thinking of a contest or something for this forum, and I’ve got some cute prizes, but haven’t thought of anything interesting yet.

 

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